Saturday, November 12, 2005

Mitt Romney and the anti-gay movement

How in God's name did Romney become governor of Massachusetts? Was it just that he seemed to be more moderate than he really is? Or was it his all-American good looks and charisma? I went to college there back in the early-'90s. Sure, there were conservatives like William Weld around, but Romney in Massachusetts is like, say, Ted Kennedy in Alabama.

I still have friends in Massachusetts. I really need to ask them about this. Or, if they're out there and they're reading this, please comment here. Or if you're from Massachusetts yourself or otherwise have an answer, please feel free to do the same.

Anyway, here's the Romney story for today:

Governor Mitt Romney leveled an unusually personal attack yesterday at the Supreme Judicial Court for legalizing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, telling a group of conservative lawyers and judges that the justices issued the ruling to promote their values and those of "their like-minded friends in the communities they socialize in."

Though Romney has criticized the SJC's watershed 2003 decision many times before, the broadside he delivered at the Federalist Society's National Lawyers Convention in Washington, D.C., was an atypically sharp and direct attack on the four justices who found that the Massachusetts Constitution afforded gays and lesbians the right to marry.

"If a judge substitutes his or her values for those values that were placed in the constitution, they do so at great peril to the culture of our entire land," he said.

The remarks won applause from the 500 lawyers, scholars, and others who packed a ballroom to hear Romney's speech.

You know, the anti-gay movement often hides behind indirect arguments against same-sex marriage. For example, they argue that "activist" judges shouldn't be allowed to legislate from the bench, that only a legislature of the people's representatives should be allowed to decide on same-sex marriage. Or they argue that "marriage" is a religious institution and that they're therefore defending religious freedom.

But let's call it like it is: The anti-gay movement is anti-gay. Period. It opposes same-sex marriage because it's anti-gay. Period. It wants to deny basic civil and human rights to gays and lesbians because it does not consider them to be equal to straight men and women. Period. Gays and lesbians are sinners. They're inferior. Period.

Negotiation is not possible. Compromise is not possible.

The anti-gay movement is absolutist and extremist. We who are on the other side must realize this and fight back with equal conviction and the knowledge that we have justice on our side.


Note: Of course, I realize that Romney may be preparing for a run at the presidency and that he may be trying to prove his right-wing bona fides on a key social issue. McCain will run, but it's unclear if he'll ever be able to shake his "maverick" label, despite ongoing attempts to endear himself to the right on issues like "intelligent design". But who could be the mainstream, establishment alternative to McCain? Frist is out, Jeb Bush likely won't run (plus, there's a good deal of Bush fatigue out there in the electorate), Giuliani is way too liberal for the primaries, Rice has said she won't run but she's also too moderate and too inexperienced, and George Allen's a fool. Who else? Gingrich? Yeah, right. Racicot? Bland and unknown.

So why not Romney?

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home